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unchangeable. Your allegiance to the Pope makes it impossible that we should expect from you any thing better than a divided allegiance to our king and government. For your own sakes we must do all that we can to prevent you from being made instruments of mischief to us and to yourselves : and we counsel and beseech you to search the Scriptures' for yourselves; that you may know what grounds we have for our solemn protestation against your church, and that you also may come out and be separate from her unscriptural doctrines, her pollutions and idolatries, lest, when the time of judgment comes, ye should be partakers of her plagues.”
Had we, as a nation, thus spoken and thus acted, how much better would it have become us, as the great Protestant nation; how much more worthy had it been of the dignity to which God in His mercy had exalted us; than, half in weakness and half in ignorance, to make one reluctant concession after another, with only the pretence and appearance of kindness, while our persevering neglect of all that pertained to the true welfare of Ireland plainly proved that there was no real, no Christian kindness towards those poor, oppressed, deluded people in our hearts ! To have acted with that strictness and determination of Protestant principle towards the Irish Roman Catholics, would have been real kindness to them, as well as faithfulness to God and to ourselves. But all we have done has been weak and sinful concession; a false toleration (amounting, in fact, to an indirect but wicked approval) of abominable principles--mischievous to those who maintained them, while it tended to dishonour God and ruin our country. Our duty was to abhor and protest against their principles, but to shew kindness and charity to their persons. Our conduct has been exactly the reverse.
But if the repeal of the penal statutes was wrong, the subsequent measures have been madness and folly. The grant of the elective franchise to the Irish Papists, and the facilities offered to the multiplication of the forty-shilling freeholders, have been fruitful sources of misery and distress in Ireland ; and the whole nation has now been reaping the ruinous fruits of those measures, and is likely to do so for years, if not for ages. The rashness and inconsideration with which the legislature has proceeded, are strongly stated by the editors of the Digest.
Amid all these perplexities (respecting the meaning and value of the oaths proposed to be taken by the Roman Catholics), one thing only is certain; every legislative step which has yet been taken in Roman Catholic questions, has been taken unadvisedly. The steps may prove harmless, or they may prove pernicious, as an indulgent or chastising Providence has ordained them; but assuredly they were not guided by foresight or circumspection. The fiftieth year of legislation has been the first year of inquiry; and in this first year, one house of the legislature made up its mind, for the third time, upon momentous concessions, long before the committees had closed their preliminary labours..... The Irish parliament sowed the wind; and unless the Divine mercy has a better harvest in store, it has bequeathed the whirlwind to be reaped by its successor. Part II. pp. 253, 254.
The next point to which we would call the attention of our readers, and especially those whom we can prevail upon to search the Digest of Evidence, is, The duplicity of the Romish priesthood, as exemplified by a comparison of the evidence given by the Roman Catholic bishops before the houses of Parliament with their conduct and writings. The whole, almost, of the Digest might be considered as affording accumulated proof and illustration of this point; and very particularly the whole of section ii. chap. iii. (pp. 156--233 of Part I.) on the character of the Church of Rome in Ireland. We would gladly transcribe a large portion of it, but must confine ourselves to a few particulars, which have struck us in perusing it.
We all know that the Church of Rome denies the right of private judgment: and though the Roman Catholic bishops, Dr. Murray and Dr. Doyle, speak in such an equivocal manner in some parts of their evidence (see p. 159-161, and 165) as might lead some persons to question whether this was actually the case, it is evident that the latter (however big he may think it expedient to talk when examined, N. B. upon oath, before the House of Lords) maintains the denial of private judgment in the strongest terms in some of his published letters, both those which are signed with his own name, and those under the signature of J. K. L. (John Kildare and Leighlin) which are clearly ascertained to be his. (See p. 168.)
In a letter addressed to Thomas Newenham, Esq. dated June 29, 1824, he thus writes: “I myself am probably one of the most moderate divines in the empire :.....but I would, with the grace of God, suffer death a thousand times, were it possible, rather than assent to any thing regarding faith, which would
not be approved by a successor of St. Peter.' This letter is signed J. Doyle. In another place, in a letter on Education, signed J. K. L., the following pas sage occurs :- -“What, let me be allowed to ask, what is heresy, if it be not our own choosing of an opinion different from the opinion of the church, and adhering obstinately to it? as if Christ were divided, or as if there could be two faiths. It is not the believing a little more or a little less, the piling up a little wood, hay, or stubble, which constitutes it at all; it consists essentially in the choosing to judge for ourselves, in refusing to hear the church, in despising her pastors, and adhering obstinately to our own erroneous opinions, no matter whether the error be great or small.” p. 157.
Well, then ; we might at least have expected that those who thus write would have afforded to their subjects some full and explicit statement of what the church requires them to believe. But no.
That would be inconvenient, as many of their own
people would find therein abominations from which they would revolt; and it would besides give an opportunity to the heretics, without any difficulty, to expose their monstrous system. The Roman Catholic bishops, when examined, referred to several books, but to none which contained a complete and authorized account of all that is undoubtingly received and professed by them. We will illustrate this, by a reference to one of their books, which lies before us, and also by some extracts from the Digest. In a book entitled “ The Grounds of the Catholic Doctrine, as contained in the Profession of Faith published by Pope Pius IV. By the Ven. and Right Rev. Richard Challoner, D.D. Bishop of Debra, and Vicar Apostolic.” We find the following article among those appended to the Nicene Creed by Pope Pius IV.
“I embrace and receive all and every one of the things which have been defined and declared in the holy Council of Trent, concerning original sin and justification."
We therefore, as we proceeded with the book, looked very carefully for some of those things which were defined and declared by the Council of Trent on those important subjects : but not one word can we find. So that the Roman Catholics, many of whom, it is very probable, never see any book on the doctrines of their church but this, are left in perfect ignorance as to what they profess and believe on these fundamental points Again, we have another of these unapostolical articles as follows:
“I likewise undoubtedly receive and profess all other things delivered, defined, and declared by the sacred canons and general councils, and particularly by the holy Council of Trent. And I condemn, reject, and anathematize all things contrary thereto, and all heresies which the church has condemned, rejected, and anathematized.”
But what those“ other things” may be, which are thus comprehended in one sweeping article, we are no where informed. The information (we believe) is scattered through many large volumes. But neither the books referred to by the Roman Catholic bishops, nor any other with which the learned editors were acquainted, contain any authentic account or summary of these canons and decrees, which are yet received with the same unhesitating faith as the doctrine of the Trinity !
We subjoin some extracts from the Digest of Evidence on these points.
• Are the Committee to understand, that the doctrine of the Roman Catholic church is unsettled; that there is no established formulary, to which persons can refer, for the interpretation of Scripture ?'
(Rev. M.O'Sullivan) · Yes; and that is one of the means by which influence is preserved. I am confident, if the Roman Catholic gentry had exhibited to them what the true nature of their church is, they would not continue members of it; but the unsettled state of the doctrine, gives to the Roman Catholic clergy the power of accommodating their view of religion to the understanding of the persons to whom it is presented. And I have known instances in which men, otherwise very amiable, have represented the doctrines of their church in different lights according to the character of the person to whom it was described : to some they would say, that certain observances were absolutely necessary; and to others, that they were not at all necessary; that they were adopted only for the purpose of exciting a spirit of devotion in the minds of uneducated persons. It has not been authoritatively determined what number of councils have authority; and while the doctrine is thus unsettled, any Pope has the power of summoning a council around him, and cau have the faith defined to whatever suits his particular purposes.' pp. 169, 170.
• In what books are to be found the most authentic exposition of the faith of the Catholic church?'
(Most Rev. D. MURRAY, D.D.) 'In the Creed of Pius the Fourth; in the caiechism which was published by the direction of the Council of Trent, called the Roman Catechism, or the Catechism of the Council of Trent; an Exposition of the Catholic Faith, by the Bishop of Meaux, Bossuet; Verron's Rule of Faith ; Holden's Analysis of Faith; and several others. p. 171.
“Will you have the goodness to explain what is meant by the infallibility of the Pope?'
(Right Rev. J. Doyle, D.D.) “There are so many divines who have written on that subject, and they have given such very long definitions of it, that I should do much better by referring your Lordships to them than by giving a definition myself. Melchior Cano has a long treatise on the infallibility of the Pope.' p. 172.
A convenient way, truly, of getting rid of a troublesome question ! by referring their lordships to a book very little known in this country, and which none of them were likely to read. But the learned editors have informed us of the important fact, that Melchior Cano holds the doctrine of the Pope's infallibility in its most objectionable shape. He was an ultra-Transalpine. We may therefore fairly conclude that Dr. Doyle is so too. And the passages quoted from his writings, under the signature of J. K. L., in pp. 189, 190, amply confirm this conclusion. Yet his evidence, upon oath, before the British Parliament gives a very different view of his opinions! Thus he takes the same advantage of the want of a fixed standard of doctrine, in dealing with the parliamentary committees, which Mr. O'Sullivan assures us is taken by other Roman Catholic priests in dealing with different members of their church. And this brings us to the conclusion, that this uncertainty of doctrine, the want of a complete and authentic account of the principles of their church, is systematically contrived and unhesitatingly used for the purposes of deception and fraud ; to keep their own people in blind subjection, and to throw dust in the eyes of Protestants, whom it is their interest to mislead. For their own people indeed, it appears, from the testimony of Dr. Milner (p. 178), to be quite sufficient if they only stick to this point ; "I believe whatever the holy Catholic church believes and teaches.” A man may be utterly ignorant of every thing which that church does believe and teach, but if he keeps to this, he is a good Roman Catholic. And this is all the boasted unity in doctrine in their church amounts to !
Respecting their dealings with Protestants, we must quote one passage more.
It is impossible to dismiss this subject without remarking one very extraordinary omission in the statements made by the Roman Catholic bishops. The reader must have observed, that in declaring what their formularies of doctrine are, they have mentioned none as having obtained the sanction of a Pope and Council, and they have mentioned none which contains an account of those articles of faith (as Dr. Doyle calls them) which, in addition to the articles
professed in the creed of Pius the Fourth, every Roman Catholic is bound to believe. It is therefore a matter of very great surprise, that, in naming the books which contain an account of the Roman Catholic church as it exists in Ireland, they should have omitted to mention that very important book, “The Treatise of the Church of Christ, compiled for the use of Candidates for Orders,” and used as their class-book' by the students at Maynooth. One might have supposed that this book would have been first named. It is, perhaps, the only one, with which it appears a necessary part of an Irish Roman Catholic priest's education that he shall be thoroughly acquainted; and yet, strange to say, while the Roman Catholic bishops refer to various works, as containing accounts of the doctrine of their church, they pass over in silence that book, from which they require of their priesthood to learn the faith which they are to teach. Whatever their doctrine be in the abstract, the Maynooth class-book may be supposed to furnish the best published account of what it is in Ireland. It is a book learned by the Irish Roman Catholic priests, appointed to be learned by their bishops ;-and yet this is the book to which, when information was sought as to the nature of the Church of Rome in Ireland, the bishops of that church omitted to refer. The omission is the more extraordinary on the part of Dr. Doyle, because by his answers on another subject he shews himself fully aware of the importance of referring to the instructions given at Roman Catholic colleges, for the purpose of proving what are the genuine doctrines of his church.
The editor cannot avoid contrasting with the explanation given by the Roinan Catholic bishops, an answer which he received from a Roman Catholic student in divinity, when questioned as to the doctrines of his church. Dr. Doyle refers to the Creed of Pius the Fourth, which has not, as he swears, enumerated all the articles of his faith; to the Roman Catechism, or other books, which have not supplied the deficiency. But the Irish student, on being asked a similar question, said, “ In this book, the doctrines of our church are to be found," and he handed to the editor Dr. Delahogue's Treatise on the Church; the class-book of the students at Maynooth. Let the reader compare that book with those to which the Roman Catholic bishops have 'referred, and judge why, if they thought it not proper or necessary to be acknowledged before the parliamentary committees, they direct the Trish priests to learn their theology from it. pp. 178--180.
This uncertainty about many points, which are contained in unwritten tradition, or in canons and decrees of councils, but no where collected into one authentic summary, affords great facilities to various kinds of fraud and imposition. Amongst other purposes, it serves to make it very difficult to deal with members VOL. III.-NO, III.